SOCHI, RUSSIA (Detroit Free Press) — Sweden captain Henrik Zetterberg's injured back is worse than ever before, forcing him to leave the Sochi Games and delayed indefinitely his return to the Detroit Red Wings.
Detroit general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press Friday that Zetterberg, "is in a great deal of discomfort, so in fairness to Sweden, the Detroit Red Wings organization and himself, he is pulling out of the Olympics.
"He has to see a doctor, but he will not be ready by the time we come out of the Olympic break. Beyond that, I have no real time frame."
Zetterberg, 33, missed 11 games for the Wings in December after his back flared up. He has a herniated disk, and will be put on medication to see if that will reduce swelling.
"I don't know if he will need surgery," Holland said. "He needs to see a doctor. He is going to wait until he feels better, then fly home early next week. There is an NHL charter going back to the States on Thursday, he may be on that.
'"It is obviously a huge disappointment for him."
The Wings can ill afford to be without Zetterberg, their captain and best all-around player. They are coming out of the Olympic break, in less than two weeks, clinging to the last wild card spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Pavel Datsyuk is also hurting, playing on an inflamed knee, but Holland said he has heard nothing new on Datsyuk.